QinetiQ Reviews

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QinetiQ CEO and Director Leo Quinn
Leo Quinn
6 Ratings

Pros
  • Generally good work life balance (in 7 reviews)

  • The work/life balance is good with flexi-time and some degree of autonomy (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • In recent years senior management have dramatically changed the company (in 6 reviews)

  • This was needed as QinetiQ had been struggling with out-of-date practices and a bloat of middle management (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Living the mistakes of greedy execs long since gone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at QinetiQ full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Brilliant place to work to learn forefront of technology, science and engineering and a great place to find lifelong friends having similar interest. Can't think of a better place to start a career and the locations are dripping with quality of life. You start off feeling lucky to work in a place like this.

    Cons

    It goes bad over time. This used to be the largest research organisation in western Europe. Now that is treated as a legacy dating back to days of DERA and the new QinetiQ has tried to be something it isn't and tried again to re-target its markets to move into non defence, a strategy it has previously tried pre-privatisation. At best the company is stable now, after rounds and rounds, and more rounds of redundancies. The trouble is, it lacks realistic focus and a realistic sense of identity and direction. This was a UK organisation and a huge one at that, of which in the UK there is little left. So once the honeymoon is over, you begin to realise that there are no long term career opportunities and what you have and where you are is as good s it gets. It's a shame, but you have to move on, and you will find it easy to do. Take your salary now, add 25% to 35% and ask yourself how many years in QinetiQ it would take you to earn that though the performance review system, assuming you don't get a PIP? That is the increase in salary you can expect to earn by working for the competition that don't have the "legacy" and are more commercially savvy. Finally, this is a company that has angered its staff so much that they set up a number of websites including qinetiqette, qinetiqettex, and qqmismanagement at wordpress.com, all of which have now been silenced. Make your own mind up, but when they talk about legacy, that legacy generated the fat that QinetiQ is now feeding off. And now there is little fat left. I fear for the future of QinetiQ.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your staff with more respect and wake up and stop dreaming. My concern is that you actually fool yourselves. You got us into this, give us a realistic direction and make this work. Show that the way foreword is not to make cuts and downsize to market worth, before you lose everybody. And stop blaming your staff for the performance of the company. Consider that you have some responsibility in all of this and that is what you are paid for.


  2. Fascinating work, and world class people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at QinetiQ full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The variety and challenge of work was impressive, and on some projects it felt like you were doing something never tried before in the world. Some of the best people I've worked with, as well. Great work/life balance too.

    Cons

    So many good people, means it's also hard to climb up the ladder. Salaries not so good compared to peer companies.


  3. OK place to work if you're into defence. I had a great manager but not sure if that applies to others.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Analyst in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Former Intern - Analyst in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at QinetiQ as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Easy to meet other graduates Flexi time Great work/life balance

    Cons

    Very rigid and overly complicated corporate structure

    Advice to Management

    Corporate structure needs a major revamp to increase sales and innovation.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Used to be a great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at QinetiQ full-time

    Pros

    Used to be a great company with lots of bright people conducting cutting-edge research. Wide range of different technologies. Pleasant environment outdoors - Malvern campus.

    Cons

    Bullying culture focused on short term profit at expense of doing a good job, providing customer satisfaction and achieving long term profit. Newer buildings had large open plan offices with bad air-con and no soul. Isolation from other companies led to unjustified culture of arrogance.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on long term share price rather than short term:- raise priority of doing a good job for the customer to at least the same as detailed financial forecasts for each project.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Disaster in progress

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere; Occasionally the projects are quite interesting; Some talented colleagues to learn from; The food from the on-site cafe was alright I suppose.

    Cons

    Rampant management incompetence, from lower management all the way to the top; Changing performance goalposts to justify non-existent or pathetic pay rises for high performers; Promotion close to impossible for technical people; The constant threat of redundancy; Below-market pay, paired with constant insinuation that it was "generous"; No training in several years at the company; The dishonesty from management about all of the above.

    Advice to Management

    Show a bit of faith in the technical staff, rather than contempt. Invest in the right people and try to stop graduates leaving as soon as they arrive. Hire the right people, but for the love of God, don't make it yet more highly-paid middle management supported by 3 or 4 fee earners...


  7. Helpful (1)

    great technical work - awful management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    smart people knowledge eagerly shared to new staff great training

    Cons

    politics poor compensation incompetence and egomania scientists burdened with unnecessary bureaucratic duties

    Advice to Management

    get proper managers in from outside business


  8. Helpful (1)

    Enjoyable and varied work in technology fields, lots of negativity amongst staff.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Large diversity of technical roles available. Intelligent, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly technical staff. Out of the rat race (Malvern site).

    Cons

    Lack of internal investment. Seemingly endless company contraction. Short-sighted cost savings. Extreme negativity amongst technical staff. Senior management and many senior technical staff seem to have conflicting ideas.

    Advice to Management

    You can't keep all staff on profit making projects at all times. QinetiQ's strength is its diversity of capabilities. Making an underutilised capability redundant means QinetiQ loses that capability. This reduces its diversity, making it weaker, less able to attack problems it could previously tackle. I saw this happen time and again.


  9. Once great, now not so much.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Within the technical teams there is good camaraderie which makes QQ a bearable place to work. Work content is varied and interesting.

    Cons

    There appears to be at least 2 managers for every "money generator". This commercial overhead is crippling the company. Pay has decreased in real terms over the last few years. Reduction in T&Cs for the people who are below the bonus line make QQ an expensive place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Stop paying yourself bonuses based on other peoples hard work. Exec pay rises should not have an inverse relationship to share price.


  10. excellent work life balance and flexibility, but too beurocratic.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    flexi time, with 2 days flexi-leave per month. Relaxed working environment with low stress. Very beautiful setting and some really interesting technology, though perhaps less than was expected.

    Cons

    Difficult to move around and find new opportunities. Promotion based largely on time served. Malvernis a bit of a nowhere place to build a career.

    Advice to Management

    Build a structured graduate programme that is competitive and allows ambitious people the opportunity to move up quickly through the company


  11. Difficult to work productively

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist/Engineer in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist/Engineer in Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There are still many high caliber, inspirational, staff at QinetiQ, many with PhDs (or equivalent) and I had the privileged to work with half a dozen Professors during my career. The staff are generally highly motivated to do useful work and very creative. The 'first line' of management who manage the people who produce whatever the customer is paying for, such as the project managers, are generally very good, being pragmatic when faced with the realities of the work environment.

    Cons

    Historically, the UK part of QinetiQ was created by the privatisation of a Government research establishment with a world wide reputation. Numerous reorganisations, and disposal of assets mean the modern QinetiQ is a very different place to work. Any new applicant should disregard this 'legacy', a term now used by QinetiQ management. Prolonged 'profits today' at the expense investment in maintaining capability mean that equipment and facilities are falling behind the state of the art. It is increasingly difficult to undertake work in a productive manor (and thus justify a good salary) and to win new work. QinetiQ has many of the features epitomised in the Dilbert cartoons, which probably doesn't make it any worse than many other large organisations, but is worth taking into consideration if you have the option of working for a smaller company. At the time of writing it is undergoing downsizing, so doesn't offer the security or career progression that may be perceived advantages of a large company, however, this may change with time. Some of the additional benefits such as child care vouchers have proved a headache to claim, and discount schemes offering no advantage over the best buys that could be obtained from alternative suppliers have turned out not to be as good as at first sight. QinetiQ obtained a new CEO at the end of 2009. He is taking action to bring the company back to profitability which will be good for the share holders, however, terms and conditions for the employees have declined. At the time of writing my opinion is that the odds are in favour of further decline, to match industry standards.

    Advice to Management

    Stop chasing the illusion of the 'perfect' organisational structure, it doesn't exist. Annual re-organisations sap energies better spent elsewhere and disrupt the real networks that staff on the shop floor use to 'get the job done'. Get a grip on 'productivity'. There is a lot of emphasis on booking time to projects but not much on whether that time was well spent. Staff try to be productive but cannot be credited for this if it is not recorded, nor is evidence recorded that can be used to improve the business.



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